Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/28/09: Dreaming Out On A Twig

Hold your head up USA.

When Dempsey scored the goosebumps came on. Then when Donovan finished a brillant counter the goosebumps were combined with a delirous smile. A packed Claddagh's bar was my scenery and the place went absolutely nuts in the 27th minute, the rout was on as the USA were straight up spanking one of the most incredible soccer sides in the world.

And, as the minutes drifted on, I wanted to believe that the euphoria would last and that the USA had a second miracle performance sewn up. That hey, maybe this is it, maybe we have arrived.

But, as cruel as soccer can be, it wasn't meant to be. The soccer gods giveth(hope, faith, europhia, and the million other glorious combinations you feel when your side is doing the improbable) and the soccer gods taketh away. The twig snapped, the clouds gave way. The sickening feeling was in my gut after 90 minutes. And, what else was I feeling, is that shock? Yes, I felt shock at the end of the game. I was shocked that Brazil beat the USA. Nuts I know, but yes, that was what I was feeling. I was confident the night before that the USA were going to win their first FIFA tournament and when Brazil came back, I was shocked. Nevertheless, I was amused that I was feeling that way at the end of the game because not usually would an American fan be shocked by losing to Brazil. It was a quirky, never felt this before, type feeling.

But, Brazil would become Champs again, at a rate where it would be even more exciting for them to actually lose a tournament. Brazil got there by scoring in the first minute of the second half, the early goal dictating that the second half was theirs and that they were not going down without a fight. Then Brazil absolutely killed the USA on set pieces and came out with the 3-2 win. And, as the whistle blew, Brazil players went nuts, just as if they had beat the best team in the world.

As I walked towards my car, still shocked and sort of dejected. I thought it would have been amazing if the USA had one more half in them. But, even though they didn't, they should hold their heads up high. They played an impeccable 135 minutes against two powerhouses, and dusted the African Champs like they were nothing. The USA should be proud. All they need to do now is find in the Gold Cup some depth and more players that can compete off of the bench, instead of just being fresh legs. Capping Jermaine Jones in August would be a nice start towards building on this success. Finding young players that will show up in big games as a sub is another, maybe a player like Rogers will fill the void by disappointing tournament performers like Sasha Klejistan today and earlier in the tournament. Further, it would have been nice to have Torres in this tournament instead of Klejistan and some others, leaving Torres off this roster was a dumb move. Also, Bradley needs to give Beasley his walking papers. The USA doesn't have time to screw around and keep starting players who are not performing. They need more depth players that are going to step up and perform in big time stituations, and they need them now. If someone messes up, send the next person in.

New possiblities for the USA that impressed: Charlie Davies, Jay DeMerit, Johnathon Spector. And an older possibility that needs some renewed faith because I think he played well in Benny Feilhaber.

Got to go: Conor Casey, Sasha Klejistan, DeMarcus Beasley, possibly as well Johnathon Bornstein. These guys are just not playing at the level of Donovan, Onyewu, Bradley, and etc.

Need to be back with the team: Pachuca's Torres.

Need to cap right away: Jermaine Jones

The highlights(I only make it through the first half. I thought it was cool how Dempsey did a Micheal Jackson impression when he scored, pure class.):

1 comment:

  1. Jones won't be getting in anytime soon. I think Ives reported that he has a hairline fracture in his leg.